This article is a guide to building a survival kit specifically geared towards outdoor environments and situations. It will be of benefit to hikers, mountain climbers, canoers, adventurers or anyone else who spends a lot of time outdoors. It can be a harsh and unforgiving place out in the elements, so it pays to be ready.
You should house your items in a weatherproof, light-weight back pack, something comfortable and easy to carry. Include a brief survival guide covering how to use all of the items (I know, I know, you’re the man and already know how everything works, but memory tends to be at its worst in high stress environments. Include a manual).
Let’s take a look at some of the potential items we can include in our kit:
Food & Water
- 3-4L of water- probably your most important item right here. Read this article on emergency water supply and storage.
- 1-2 days worth of food- non-perishable, high-nutrient, high-calorie stuff. Protein bars, peanut butter, granola bars, MREs, freeze dried food, etc.
- Fishing line and hooks- you can set them up, go do what you need to, and hopefully come back to some nice fish for dinner.
- Water purification tablets- a good backup if your initial water supply runs out. Check out this article on emergency water filtration and purification.
Tools and Equipment
- Mini LED flashlight- they’re smaller, brighter, and last longer than regular flashlights. Go with white or yellow, the most visible colors.
- A good knife- something like a small machete will do. Large enough to cut wood, clear forest, but small enough for more finesse jobs.
- A small Swiss army knife- multiple possible uses, obviously.
- 20 ft of Para cord- various uses- creating a shelter, bundling fire wood, etc.
- Needles and heavy thread- for repairing torn fabrics, stitching wounds.
- A compass- for navigating your way home.
- Duct tape- so many potential uses.
- A small cooking tin- for cooking your food in.
- A small magnifying glass- for inspecting things, starting fires.
- Magnesium and flint bar- another option for fire starting.
- Safety pins- many possible uses- holding heavy fabrics together, fashioning fish hooks, etc.
- Extra-strength pain killers- for treating pain and injuries.
- A first aid kit- an essential piece to any survival kit. While there are many good ones for sale, building your own can help you become more acquainted with the parts and how to use them. If interested, check out our article on creating your own first aid kit.
- Diarrhea pills- because crapping your pants while lost in the wilderness is no fun at all. Seriously though, that’s valuable fluid you’re losing. These can keep you comfortable and hydrated if you’re bit by the bug.
- A good pair of leather gloves
- A warm hat
- Extra socks
- A pencil and a few sheets of paper- for taking notes, writing down addresses.
- A reflective survival blanket- to stay warm. Wear on the outside, above all of your clothes.
- Painter’s tarp or garbage bags- for collecting garbage and waste, using as ponchos, creating a shelter.
- A loud whistle- for signaling, or scaring off animals.
- A lighter or matches- for starting fires.
- Mirror – for inspecting wounds, or signaling.
- Map- for navigating your way home.
- Sunscreen- for avoiding sunburn.
- Bug repellant- to avoid getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.
- Ziploc freezer bags- for leftovers, storing things.
- $50+- when you get back to civilization, you may need food or gas. Best to have some cash on hand.
Bring your survival kit with you whenever you venture outdoors, and it just might save your life.
Good luck and stay prepared!